Maina says no case to answer in N2bn fraud allegations

Maina says no case to answer in N2bn fraud allegations

Abdulrasheed Maina, former Chairman, Pension Reformed Task Team (PRTT), on Wednesday, December 9, told the Federal High Court, Abuja, that he had no case to answer in the allegations levied against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Maina, who told Justice Okon Abang shortly after the EFCC, through its counsel, Farouk Abdullah, closed its case, said he would be filing a no-case submission.

The former pension reformed boss, through his lawyer, Anayo Adibe, made his intention known shortly after he cross-examined the ninth prosecution witness (PW9), Rouqquaya Ibrahim, an EFCC investigator.

Justice Abang adjourned the matter until Friday (Dec. 10) for counsel to the defendant, Adibe, to address the court orally and for the prosecution counsel, Abdullah, to respond to the no-case submission.

1st News reports that Maina (1st defendant) was arraigned before Justice Abang, on Oct. 25, 2019, by the EFCC alongside his firm, Common Input Property and Investment Ltd.

Although he is facing 12-counts bordering on money laundering up to the tune of N2 billion; Maina had pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

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Meanwhile, the Federal Government (FG) via the Ministry of Foreign Affairs says Nigeria will vigorously engage the U.S. government; to remove its name from its blacklist of countries over concern on religious freedom.

The FG has also expressed its displeasure to the U.S. government on this development.

Mr Ferdinand Nwonye, Spokesperson for the ministry, disclosed Nigeria’s position in a statement on Tuesday, December 8, in Abuja, following the announcement of the US; adding Nigeria among countries of concerns against its Religious Freedom Act of 1998.

The foreign affairs ministry said the FG remained committed to ensuring respect and protection of all citizens’ right to religious freedom and promotion of religious tolerance and harmony.

“The attention of the ministry has been drawn to an announcement made by the U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo; stating that the government of the United States of America has designated Nigeria; as a ‘country of concern under the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998’.

“The Federal Government of Nigeria received the news with surprise; that a secular country under a democratic government will be so designated.

“Although the Nigerian state is multi-religious and multi-ethnic; the Nigerian constitution expressly states that the government shall not adopt any religion as a state religion.

“Furthermore, section 38 of the constitution guarantees that every Nigerian citizen is entitled to freedom of thought; conscience; and religion including freedom to change his/her religion or belief.

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